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Biometric Devices Essay

643 words - 3 pages

Biometric devices all around us
Many components come into play when debating biometric devices. Is it ethical? Is it legal? Is it economical? Is it sociological? As technology continues to progress, the safety of society has to be considered. I believe that technological advancement is wonderful, but the natural right to privacy holds more importance.
Imagine, every time you want to enter a building you have to swipe your finger. It is not like just swiping a card. You have to physically be there to gain access. Teachers could require swiping your finger or getting your retina scanned to take attendance. This takes away the option of possibly having a friend sign you in if there was an emergency and you could not make it. Also, those records could be collected and future employers could possibly gain access to them. A person with bad attendance probably should not get a job over someone with good attendance, but the person with bad attendance could be automatically taken ...view middle of the document...

Biometric systems will speed lunch lines where cash is primarily used because students, especially younger ones, are prone to losing or misplacing cash and extra time is taken to make correct change. Personal Identification Number based systems and magnetic card-based systems can also speed lines.
Biometric devices can feel invasive. Americans especially have a culture that values privacy and the security of the individual in her person and property. As the Bite Project notes, "The freedom of the individual is perceived to be closely related to his ability to operate somewhat autonomously and anonymously." To the extent that biometrics is measuring and documenting a piece of you, it may feel more invasive than other security methods, and it reduces your anonymity and autonomy. Each school must carefully evaluate the implications biometric devices would have for its community.

More than that, biometric devices tend to have a higher misread rate on young children about age four or five, who are typically in preschool or kindergarten, because their fingerprints haven't sufficiently developed. On these younger children, a good biometric system should have a successful identification rate of about 80 to 85 percent. On children and adults from about age six onward, a good biometric system should successfully identify and debit about 96 to 97 percent, a figure substantially higher than most swipe cards or card readers. For the small number of students unsuccessfully identified by a biometric system, administrators may want to have a backup system in place such as a last name lookup.
Biometric devices today also provide administrators and parents valuable extras. For example, one biometric school food service program, has an online component that allows parents to pre-pay for school lunches as well as monitor their child's food choices. The technology even enables parents to restrict their children's choices to avoid 'special diet' conflicts or to prevent children from purchasing high fat, high sugar items.

Works Cited
http://www.dataprotection.ie/docs/Biometrics-in-Schools-Colleges-and-other-Educational-Institutions/409.htm. 2014. 29 November 2014.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/2006/10/26/biometric-device-in-schools-scans-fingerprints-to-pay-for-meals/. 26 October 2006. 29 November 2014.

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